Welcome to Fresh Choice!

 

About us…

Fresh Choice (trading as Koala Farms) is a family owned business, established in 1990 by Anthony & Diane Staatz in the Lockyer Valley. Anthony is the fifth generation to farm in the area and is now producing in the Lockyer Valley and on the Darling Downs.  This gives the business enough diverse climate to produce vegetables 12 months of the year. 

We have grown a variety of different products and supplied the International and Domestic Markets over the years but currently our primary focus is on vegetables into the Chain Stores and wholesale markets on the east coast of Australia.

To maintain our competitive edge as a supplier of fresh food products, we strive to provide our employees with innovative technology, effective and efficient systems.  A HR Programme especially designed to suit the training needs of our business to create a progressive team and workplace environment promoting a culture of working together to get the best possible outcomes for both the business and the employee.

Our aim is to strive to produce safe and consistent supplies of produce that meets our customer’s expectations, with a level of efficiency that ensures high quality products at a competitive price all the time.  We understand that to be able to deliver on that commitment, it is essential that the practices outlined in this policy are adhered to at all times.

1. Work Health and Safety Policy 

We endeavour to provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all workers, contractors, volunteers, visitors and members of the public. Hazards or risks to health and safety are to be eliminated or minimised, as far as is reasonably practicable, so as to prevent injury, illnesses and dangerous incidents. Safety and incident prevention is important to the ultimate success of our operations. Management endeavours to comply with its work health and safety duties and obligations, so far as is reasonably practicable by:

• providing a safe working environment;

• providing safe working conditions and safe operating procedures;

• eliminating workplace hazards;

• developing a consultation process that involves workers in identifying and resolving health and safety issues;

• providing workers with information, instruction, training and supervision to allow workers to work safely and without risk to their health;

• providing contractors and visitors with information, instruction, training and supervision to work safely and without risk to their health;

• making safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) available where required.

Endorsing a No prison labour policy. Only employing staff over the age of 14 years and 9 months(all employees to supply proof of age), and never requiring young workers to perform hazardous duties.

Each worker has the legal duty to:

• follow all safe work practices, procedures, instructions and rules;

• work in a manner which ensures the health and safety of him or herself and others;

• encourage other workers to work in a healthy and safe manner;

• participate in training;

• report or rectify any unsafe conditions that come to their attention.

This policy is an integral part of our total management plan. Our goal is to have zero injuries to workers, contractors and members of the public within our workplace. This can only be achieved through consultation with and cooperation by all.

Although we take every precaution to develop systems to minimise the risks involved with the production of fruit and vegetables it must be understood that the environment in which we work changes daily.

No employee is permitted to perform a work task without prior training or instruction from their crew leader.  This training will be oral or you will receive a written job outline (description, procedure) that you will need to read and understand to ensure you are able to perform your job to our expectations.

Under no circumstances are you to operate machinery or vehicles without direct instruction from your supervisor.

You must inform us of any pre-existing injuries or illness which may be affected by the work.  Failing to notify or hiding a pre-existing injury or illness, could result in that injury or illness being ineligible for future compensation claims.

Employees should report all incidents, including near misses, as a near miss might be fatal the next time it occurs.  Employees are often the best placed people to identify hazards, especially those caused by faulty equipment.  If an accident should occur, it is to be reported immediately to your Crew Leader, ensuring an Incident Report is completed, signed and returned to Administration for processing.

 

Work Health and Safety Policy continued

Hazardous Substances

Many hazardous chemicals are used on farm to produce the crops.  Only crew members that have been trained in the safe use of these products are permitted to use them.  These products are stored in the chemical storage shed and only designated personnel are permitted to enter these facilities.

Risks associated with the particular task or process will be explained to you in a written job description or orally by your supervisor when you are being trained to do each job.

Dress Codes

You are required to arrive to start each day in clean, tidy clothes that are suitable to outside working conditions.

Most tasks will be performed outside and around machinery.  There are the risks associated with exposure to the sun.  It is essential that good sun protective clothing is worn with a wide brimmed hat and a good quality sunscreen applied prior to working in the sun.  It is also recommended that an adequate water supply be taken with you to last throughout the day. 

There are also risks associated with clothing and long hair around machinery.  Clothes must not be tied or looped around your waist or neck. This can become caught in moving machinery resulting in injury.  The same thing applies to long hair.  It can easily be caught in machinery so for this reason long hair must be tied up not to exceed shoulder length.  It is advised that jewellery shall not be worn while working either.

Adequate footwear is also important, depending on your workplace, when using heavy machinery steel caped boots are recommended but if working in the field or irrigating a softer shoe or rubber dive boot is acceptable.

Hygiene Policy

Good hygienic practices are essential when handling food products.  It is our policy that crew do not pose a threat to food safety while handling produce.  To ensure that standards are met the following must be adhered to: 

• hands shall be washed on entry points to food handling areas on every occasion you enter that area -

• hands shall require regular washing when working in the packing area, especially if you have moved away from • your station to perform a waste removal task, complete a record etc:

• inform your crew leader if you have any communicable diseases such as hepatitis, gastric illness, flu, or skin infections:

• cuts or abrasions must be covered with a brightly coloured water proof dressing or band aid and a disposable glove worn if the effected area is on your hand:

• keep fingernails trimmed and clean:

• do not smoke, eat food, chew gum or spit in the food handling areas or within 5m of crops:

• do not take personal items into the food handling areas:

• place waste food and rubbish in the bins marked as waste:

Report to your manager NOW any instance you observe that may cause food contamination, i.e. broken glass, pest or vermin droppings or habitation, toilet or hand wash facilities are out of soap or paper, etc. 

 

Quality Policy

Koala Farms grow and pack different lines of Produce.

Our primary objectives is to consistently provide safe quality produce and service which meets the needs and expectations of our customers in the most cost effective manner.

We depend on all stages of the operation to work smoothly.  To make this happen our quality system defines everyone’s responsibilities and has checks at strategic points to make sure the system and the product is right.

Our system follows the WQA and Fresh Care codes and uses HACCP to manage food safety and quality.

We aim to satisfy our customers and rely on close relationships to enhance our position in increasingly competitive markets.  Internal and external communication is the key to having people understand the requirements and importance of our quality system.

Through motivated staff, having defined processes, documented procedures and the use of appropriate equipment and materials, quality objectives are achieved.

Getting it right first time approach in crop production, growing, picking, sorting, packing and storage is the key to consistent quality and reduction of waste and downgrade.

Our methods and practices are kept continually under review and techniques improve wherever necessary.

The principles outlined in this policy statement are fundamental for assurance of produce quality and safety and require all employees to support this policy and be actively involved in its implementation

No Smoking Policy

The purpose of this policy is to protect the health of our employees, contractors and visitors by eliminating exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in and around all of our buildings and facilities, including shared company vehicles.

We do not support or condone smoking, but accept we cannot control individual choices.

The objectives of this policy are to:

• specify places where smoking is not permitted in the workplace;

• outline the responsibilities of staff, including managers;

• promote a smoke free workplace policy in recruitment and training for new employees; and

• authorise placement of 'No Smoking' signs

Policy statement

We aim to provide a safe and healthy workplace free from the risks of tobacco smoke.  A workplace can constitute both indoor and outdoor places, including our motor vehicles.

Areas affected by the policy
A smoke free environment must be maintained in all of our buildings, shared company vehicles, storage areas, restrooms and toilets, workshops, and lunch rooms.

Smoking is not permitted within 5 metres of our production areas; these areas include our cultivation’s even when not planted, nursery, packing sheds, cold rooms, dispatch areas and all other areas where produce is handled.

To prevent drift of smoke into smoke free environments, no smoking will be permitted within 5 metres of machinery. There should be no smoking in thoroughfares or access paths, which means that no person should have to inhale smoke walking in or out of a building or on paths between our buildings.  Every care should be taken to prevent the drift of smoke into workplaces.

No smoking signs may be erected near the entry to buildings

Approved smoking areas
Approved temporary smoking will be areas assigned by the team leaders on a needs basis. Employees are only permitted to smoke in approved smoking areas during approved work breaks.

Responsibilities
All employees are responsible for ensuring that our business is maintained as a smoke free environment by complying with the provisions of this policy and reporting any incidents which breach this policy.

In particular, farm managers and crew leaders are responsible for ensuring that all employees under their control fully understand the requirements and provisions of the policy.

Environmental waste reduction

Employees are responsible for ensuring that any wastes, such as cigarette butts, are properly and safely disposed of.

Employees are reminded that cigarette butts take up to five (5) years to break down; therefore used butts must be properly disposed of. 

 

Disciplinary action

Workers must comply with this policy at all times. Breaches of this policy will be managed in accordance with the companies “Discipline and Termination Policy”

 

Alcohol and drug policy

We are committed to achieving a healthy and safe working environment for our employees.  As such, we recognise that alcohol, drug and other substance abuse by employees can have serious adverse effects on their own health and safety and that of others. 

Application of this policy

This policy applies to all workers employed or engaged by us, including:

• full time, part time, casual, permanent or temporary employees;

• contract workers and their employees;

• labor hire workers;

• apprentices and trainees.

Except as set out in this Policy, workers must not:

work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;

attend work, commence or return to work while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;

consume alcohol and/or drugs during work, or at the workplace (note qualification for prescription and pharmacy drugs below);

Must not possess, distribute, sell, use or consume illegal drugs in the workplace. Such conduct constitutes serious misconduct. It may also constitute a criminal offence, in which case the Company may notify the police, or other appropriate government authority.

If a co-worker suspects another to be affected by drugs or alcohol, they must inform the Crew Leader immediately.  No employee will be allowed to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol at any time.

 

Some Specific Situations

Prescription and Pharmacy drugs

Where a worker is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs for medical purposes, the worker will not breach this policy by attending work, if the worker:

  • takes the prescription and pharmacy drugs in accordance with the instructions of their medical practitioner and normal directions applying to the use of those drugs;

  • does not misuse or abuse the use of prescription or pharmacy drugs;

  • ensures they are able to perform their work effectively, competently and safely;

  • informs themselves of the impact of consumption of alcohol with prescription and pharmacy drugs and they limit consumption accordingly; and checks with their medical practitioner or pharmacist about the effect of the drug on their ability to drive vehicles operate machinery and safely perform their normal work duties. If a workers ability to perform work competently, efficiently and safely is affected, the worker should obtain this advice in writing from the medical practitioner, or pharmacist, and provide it to their manager or supervisor as soon as possible and before undertaking their work.

  • If the Company suspects that the workers ability to safely perform work is affected, the Company may take steps to address the issue in accordance with this policy.

 

Consumption of alcohol-workers responsibilities

The Company recognises that at some work related functions responsible consumption of alcohol is allowed, for example, at a staff function, Christmas party or customer function.

In these circumstances, the following restrictions apply at all work-related functions:

  • workers must consume alcohol responsibly;

  • Workers must not become drunk. As set out above, it is a condition of waiving the   prohibition on alcohol that workers consume alcohol responsibly. Inebriation does not diminish a workers responsibility for misconduct;

  • workers must uphold an appropriate standard of behaviour at all times, consistent with the Company’s codes of conduct and workplace policies;

  • the restrictions set out below in relation to Company vehicles and machinery continue to apply; and

  • Workers must ensure a safe means of transport from such functions. Workers must not drive any vehicle if they are over the legal blood alcohol limit. Workers who do not have a safe means of transport should advise management so that such transport may be arranged.

  • If a worker is required to return to work, or continue working after the function, and the consumption of alcohol could adversely affect their ability to perform work effectively and safely, consumption of alcohol by those workers is not permitted.

  • If a worker breaches this policy at a work related function and acts inappropriately, the  worker may be  subject  to  disciplinary  action,  and  may  not  be  permitted  to consume any alcohol at future work related functions.

  • The prohibition relating to drugs will not be waived in any circumstances, except in relation to prescription and pharmacy drugs as set out in this policy.

 

Consumption of alcohol- the Company’s responsibilities

When the Company provides alcohol at a work related function, it will do so responsibly, ensuring that:

  • workers will be reminded of this policy prior to the work related function, where appropriate and practicable;

  • food will be made available during the service of alcohol;

  • light alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages will be available at all times;

  • alcohol will not be provided to anyone under the age of 18 years;

  • alcohol will not be provided to anyone who is drinking excessively, or is (or appears to be) intoxicated;

  • alcohol service is supervised, whether held at the workplace or other locations, by a suitably qualified person, who holds a certificate in responsible service of alcohol; and

  • Workers are reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and promote the use of alternative transport (e.g. taxis, public transport).

Driving Company vehicles and machinery

Alcohol and illegal drugs

The Company has a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment for its workers and others in the workplace.  To ensure a safe environment, no machinery is to be operated or used by anyone who is under the influence of alcohol, or used or consumed illegal drugs.

Workers must comply with alcohol concentration limits applicable to particular duties they perform, or may be called on to perform.

The Company will not accept liability for any damage to a Company vehicle, an injury to another person, or damage to other property caused by a worker’s use of a Company vehicle while intoxicated from alcohol or illegal drugs. The worker will be personally liable in such circumstances.

Prescription and pharmacy drugs

Where a worker is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs that contain a warning that the person should not drive a vehicle or operate machinery, then that worker must not drive a Company vehicle or any vehicle, or operate machinery unless contrary specific medical advice is obtained and confirmed in writing, from the workers medical practitioner.

If a worker is taking prescription or pharmacy drugs and feels that their ability to safely drive a vehicle or operate machinery is affected, the worker must not drive a Company vehicle, or any vehicle, or operate machinery and must notify their manager or supervisor immediately.

 

What will the Company do if it suspects a worker is affected by drugs or alcohol?

If the Company suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a worker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy, the Company will take steps to address the issue.

Reasonable grounds may include (but are not limited to) where the worker:

is unable to co-ordinate their actions;

  • has red or bloodshot eyes, or dilated pupils;

  • smells of alcohol;

  • acts contrary to their normal behaviour;

  • exceeds alcohol concentration limits applicable to the task they perform or may be called on to perform;

  • is not behaving in a professional and competent manner and in accordance with the Company standards; or

  • Otherwise appears to be impaired or affected by drugs or alcohol.

In such circumstances, the Company may take the following actions (but is not limited to these actions):

Direct the worker to go home. Suitable arrangements for safe transport will be made by the relevant manager; or

Direct the worker to attend a medical examination to determine whether the worker is fit to perform their duties effectively and safely. The medical examination may include a drug and/or alcohol test, such as a breath test, blood test, urine test or oral swab. In relation to prescription or pharmacy drugs, the Company may require evidence as part of the medical examination about the effects and proper use of the drug. The worker may be directed to go home following the medical examination.

If the worker refuses to attend a medical examination, they will be directed to go home. Refusal to attend a medical examination, refusal to go home, or providing false information constitutes a breach of this policy and may result in action being taken against the worker, including action as set out below under ‘Breach of policy’.

Where a worker is sent home, or required to attend a medical examination, the worker must report to Management (or as directed) on the next working day, or as soon as possible once the worker is no longer under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Company will deal with the issue as set out below under ‘Breach of policy’. Failure to report constitutes a breach of this policy.

 

What will the Company do if it finds drug or alcohol at the Company’s workplace?

If the Company finds drugs or alcohol at the workplace in breach of this policy, the Company may take the following action, which includes but is not limited to:

  • investigate the matter in order to attempt to determine who is responsible, including by conducting searches, as set out in this policy;

  • Require some or all workers, to undergo a medical examination in order to test for the presence of drugs or alcohol.

Workers are required to co-operate in any investigation. Failure to co-operate, or providing false information in an investigation, constitutes a breach of this policy and may result in action as set out below under ‘Breach of this policy’.

What will the Company do if it suspects a worker has drugs or alcohol in their possession at work?

 

If the Company suspects that a worker has drugs or alcohol in their possession at work, the Company may take the following action, which includes but is not limited to:

Investigate the matter to attempt to determine whether the worker does have such drugs or alcohol in their possession;

Request the worker to open their locker, bag, or vehicle or to empty their pockets or jacket for the purpose of locating any drugs or alcohol.

Workers are expected to permit such inspection and co-operate with the Company’s investigation. Failure to co-operate, or providing false information in an investigation, may result in action being taken against the worker, as set out below under ‘Breach of this policy’.

 

When will the Company conduct drug and alcohol testing?

Dictionary

The following definitions will apply to this part:

“Alcohol Screen Test” - means any analytical procedure or test which is carried out on a worker to determine the presence and/or the concentration alcohol (including but not limited to a breath test, urine sample, oral swab and blood test). These procedures are not limited to those which presently exist. As new technology is developed these may also be used for alcohol testing purposes.

“Authorized Officer” - means a suitably trained, qualified and authorized person from an Independent Testing Agency or a suitably trained, qualified and authorized person appointed by the Company for the purposes of undertaking or arranging an Alcohol Screen Test and/or Drug Screen Test.

“Confirmatory Test”: means any analytical procedure or test which is undertaken subsequent to a first Alcohol Screen Test or Drug Screen Test, which is used to verify the presence of drugs or alcohol. This may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • a test applied to a second Sample of a worker’s urine;

  • a test applied to any oral swab taken from a worker;

  • a second Breath Test;

Analysis of a worker’s blood.

“Drug Screen Test”: means any analytical procedure or test which is carried out on a worker to determine the presence and/or the concentration of any drug (including but not limited to a breath test, urine sample, oral swab and blood test). These procedures are not limited to those which presently exist. As new technology is developed this may also be used for drug testing purposes

“Sample” – in relation to urine, includes, if the sample is divided into portions, a portion of the sample.

Drug and alcohol testing

 

The Company may require workers to undergo testing for the presence of drugs or alcohol in the following circumstances, with or without, prior notice:

If the Company suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a worker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy.

Upon finding evidence that a worker has used, possessed, sold, solicited or transferred drugs whilst in the workplace or while on Company property.

Where the Company finds drugs or alcohol in the workplace in breach of this Policy.

Upon receipt of a report of drug or alcohol use, provided by a reliable and credible source and confirmed by investigation, in breach of this policy.

Where a worker has previously received a positive Alcohol Screen Test or Drug Screen Test and has refused to undergo a Confirmatory Test, he/she shall be required to undergo subsequent testing.

Where a worker has previously received a Confirmatory Test result confirming the use of Illegal drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy, he/she shall be required to undergo subsequent testing.

Where the investigation of an incident or near-miss determines that the worker’s actions may have been impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

All information obtained through the above testing is covered by Australian privacy laws and the Company’s privacy policy. The Company will not use this information other than for the purposes for which it is collected. The purposes of such monitoring and examination are to ensure the productivity, health and safety of personnel, to apply this policy, and for disciplinary purposes.

A refusal to undergo a Drug Screen test and/or Alcohol Screen test or providing false information, constitutes a breach of this policy and may result in action being taken against the worker, including action as set out below under ‘Breach of this policy’.

 

Breach of this policy

Workers must comply with this policy at all times.

Breaches of this policy will be managed in accordance with the companies “Discipline and Termination Policy”

Allergens Policy

A food allergy is an immune system response to a food protein that the body mistakenly thinks is harmful.  When an individual eats food containing that protein, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s vital organs and if untreated this can be fatal.

90% of allergy attacks are caused by peanuts, honey and tree nuts. 

Employees are to be aware that if they have eaten these foods, they are to thoroughly wash their hands before touching any produce, as traces of these products could be left on the produce and purchased by a consumer with an allergy.

Nuts and nut products of any sort or honey products are not to be consumed while working on any of our properties.

It is also essential to the safety of co-workers who may have allergies.

Mobile Phone/ Portable Music Device Policy

The use of mobile phones and portable music devices with headphones while working can cause distraction, disruption and interruption to the performance of their duties.

Portable devices can distract employees from surrounding noise and activity, can cause employees to not hear instructions or alarms and as such are a workplace hazard and dangerous in the workplace.

Employees agree not to use their mobile phones for personal, non-urgent matters, except during meal breaks or rest pauses.

Employees agree to use Portable Music Devices only with the permission of their supervisor.

Anti-discrimination and harassment Policy

 We are committed to creating a work environment which is free from discrimination and sexual harassment and where all members of staff are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.

Application of this policy

This policy applies to all workers employed or engaged by us, including:

  • Full time, part time, casual, permanent or temporary employees;

  • Contract workers and their employees;

  • labour hire workers;

  • apprentices and trainees.

It applies to workers in all their work-related dealings with each other, and with customers, contacts or clients.

It applies to workers while in the workplace or off site, at work-related functions (including social functions and celebrations) while on trips and attending conferences.

Discrimination and equal opportunity

We endeavour to be an equal opportunity employer. At all stages of the employment relationship (recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of work, training and professional development opportunities, promotion and transfer, retirement, retrenchment and termination) we aim to treat staff on their merits and valued according to how well they perform their duties.

We believe that all our workers should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment, vilification and the seeking of unnecessary information on which discrimination might be based.  We consider these behaviours unacceptable and they will not be tolerated.

Responsibility of workers

All workers contribute to the creation of a discrimination free and inclusive workplace and a healthy workplace culture.

Managers have a particular obligation to model appropriate behaviour, promote this policy, treat all complaints seriously and attend to them promptly, monitor the work environment and seek expert help for complex or serious matters.

All workers have the responsibility to comply with this policy, report incidents to their managers and not to participate in discriminatory or harassing behaviour.

Consequences of breach of the policy

Workers who make a legitimate complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment should not suffer any victimisation for making the complaint. This also applies to workers who agree to be a witness in a complaint or have a complaint made against them.

Disciplinary action will be taken against any worker found to have breached this policy. Action should be appropriate to the breach and may include: an official warning and note on the person’s personnel file, a formal apology, counselling, demotion, transfer, suspension, or dismissal in accordance with the companies “Discipline and Termination Policy”.

Anti-discrimination legislation

Anti-discrimination legislation prohibits discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment, vilification and seeking unnecessary information on which discrimination might be based, subject to a small number of exemptions.

Discrimination on the following grounds is unlawful:

• race, (including colour, descent or ancestry, nationality, national or ethnic origin);

• age (whether young or older);

•  impairment (including biological, functional, learning, physical, sensory, mobility, cognitive, psychological, psychiatric impairment or the    presence of an organism capable of causing disease);

• religious belief or activity;

• sex or gender identity;

• relationship status (including being married, single, divorced, separated, de facto or in a same sex relationship);

• sexuality;

• pregnancy, breastfeeding, parental status (including being or not being a parent, guardian, foster parent, adoptive parent or step parent);

• family responsibilities (including the responsibility to care for and support a dependant child or immediate family member);

• lawful sexual activity as a sex worker;

• trade union activity;

• political belief or activity;

• association with someone else who is identified because of one of the above attributes.

Other behaviour that is against the law includes:

• seeking unnecessary information on which discrimination might be based;

• victimisation because a person has made a complaint, agreed to be a witness or has had a complaint made against them;

• sexual harassment which is prohibited under both state and federal legislation;

• vilification on the basis of a person’s race, religion, gender identity or sexuality.

 

Federal anti-discrimination legislation also prohibits discrimination on the basis of criminal record, medical record or social origin.

What is discrimination?

Direct discrimination occurs when a person (or a group of people) is singled out for worse treatment, compared to others in similar circumstances, because of one or more of the attributes listed above.

Direct discrimination may involve:

• making offensive ‘jokes’ about another worker’s racial or ethnic background, sex, sexuality, age or impairment;

•  expressing negative stereotypes about particular groups or using stereotypes as a basis for decisions about work e.g. ‘Women with young children shouldn’t work.’ or ‘Older workers can’t learn new skills’.

Indirect discrimination occurs when one rule applies to all, but in fact disadvantages a person (or group of people) because they are unable, or less able to comply with the rule because they have an attribute listed above.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual attention that might offend, humiliate or intimidate the other person and may be experienced by women or men.  It includes: uninvited touching or physical contact; leering at a person or at parts of their body; talking about your sex life or asking about another person’s sex life; sexual jokes or propositions; sexually offensive communications (phone, email, SMS or other social media).

Sexual harassment is against the law wherever and whenever it occurs.  Sexual harassment in the workplace or in any work-related context such as conferences, work functions and business trips is unacceptable. Sexual harassment has nothing to do with mutual attraction.  Such friendships are a private matter.

 

Sexual harassment does not have to be repeated or continuous to be against the law. Some actions or remarks are so offensive that they constitute sexual harassment in themselves, even if they are not repeated. Other single incidents, such as an unwanted invitation or compliment, may not be sexual harassment. Some forms of sexual harassment, such as assault, physical molestation, stalking, sexual assault and indecent exposure, are also criminal offences.

The person being harassed does not need to say that the behaviour is unwelcome.  Many people find it difficult to speak up.  All workers are responsible for their own behaviour.  If you think the behaviour may offend, then don’t do it.

Reporting

Genuine allegations of discrimination or harassment must be reported to us is accordance with the company’s “Grievance Policy”.

Self help.

If you feel confident and want to deal with the situation yourself, you can use self help techniques. However, it is not necessary that you try to resolve the complaint this way. This option involves approaching the person responsible for the discriminatory or sexually harassing behaviour yourself. You should tell the person what you are unhappy about, why you are unhappy about it, and what you would like to happen. Taking a person with you for support may be helpful.

Make an internal complaint

We endeavour to:

• treat all complaints of discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment, vilification or seeking unnecessary information seriously;

• handle these complaints confidentially and impartially;

• investigate legitimate complaints promptly and take appropriate action.

Complaints are to be made and handled using the processes outlined in the company’s “Grievance Policy”.

Conduct that breaches this policy

Conduct that breaches this policy is unacceptable and will be managed in accordance with the companies “Discipline and Termination Policy”

Employees should speak with their manager if they have any concerns regarding this policy.

 

Pornography Policy

Pornographic material is unacceptable in the workplace.  We believe that all employees are entitled to work in an environment which is free from pornographic material of any kind.

Pornographic material is material of an explicit sexual nature regardless of how it is made available, displayed, generated, distributed, forwarded or stored including through the internet, emails, instant messaging, mobile phones, magazines, electronic storage and any other mediums.

Any employee who breaches this policy by having pornographic material in the workplace will face disciplinary action.

 

Workplace bullying policy

Our commitment

We endeavour to provide a safe and healthy workplace free from bullying.

Workers are protected by this policy whether they feel bullied by a supervisor, another worker, client, contractor or member of the public.

We endeavour to:

• treat reports of workplace bullying seriously; and

• respond promptly, impartially and confidentially to legitimate reports of bullying.

This policy will be made available to all workers including contractors. New workers will be given a copy of this policy at their induction. Managers and supervisors will remind workers of the policy from time to time.

Expected workplace behaviours

Under work health and safety laws workers and other people at our workplace must take reasonable care that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of others.

We expect people to:

• behave in a responsible and professional manner;

• treat others in the workplace with courtesy and respect;

• listen and respond appropriately to the views and concerns of others;

• be fair and honest in their dealings with others.

This policy applies to behaviour that occurs:

• in connection with work, even if it occurs outside normal working hours;

• during work activities, for example when dealing with clients;

• at work-related events, for example at conferences and work-related social functions;

• regardless of the medium, including but not limited to:

○  telephone calls;

○  text messaging;

○  instant messaging;

○  social media;

where workers interact with colleagues or clients and their actions may affect them either directly or indirectly.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is defined as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

Repeated behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range of behaviours over time.

Unreasonable behaviour means behaviour that a reasonable person, having considered the circumstances, would see as unreasonable, including behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Single incidents of unreasonable behaviour can also present a risk to health and safety and are to be dealt with accordingly, but do not constitute workplace bullying.

What is not workplace bullying?

Reasonable management action taken by managers or supervisors to direct and control the way work is carried out is not considered to be workplace bullying if the action is taken in a reasonable and lawful way.

What can you do?

If you feel you are being bullied and are not comfortable dealing with the problem yourself, or your attempts to do so have not been successful, you must raise the issue either with your team leader, crew leader or farm manager using the processes outlined in the company’s “Grievance Policy

If you witness unreasonable behaviour you must bring the matter to the attention of your team leader, crew leader or farm manager as a matter of urgency using the processes outlined in the company’s “Grievance Policy

How we will respond

If workplace bullying or unreasonable behaviour is reported or observed we endeavour to take appropriate action in accordance with our “Grievance Policy”.

Consequences of breaching this policy

Workers must comply with this policy at all times.

Breaches of this policy will be managed in accordance with the companies “Discipline and Termination Policy”

If bullying has not been substantiated

If the investigation finds bullying has not occurred or cannot be substantiated, we may still take appropriate action to address any workplace issues leading to the report.

Grievance resolution policy

 The intent of this policy is to provide a process for the quick and effective resolution of workplace grievances.  However, flexibility and deviations from this policy will be required from time to time, having regard to the nature of a grievance, the parties to the grievance and the need for external assistance.

Grievance resolution is the process by which solutions are sought in response to an employee complaining or expressing concerns about (or perceptions of) problems in the workplace.

Scope

This policy applies to all of our employees.

Policy and procedures

We have developed procedures for the resolution of complaints, grievances or problems raised by employees that relate to work, the work environment or working relationships.

These procedures emphasise a collegial approach to grievance resolution through informal procedures and mediation and are designed to lead to a prompt and fair resolution of difficult problems.

While the parties to the grievance attempt to resolve the matter in accordance with this policy, work must continue as normal (other than with respect to bona fide health and safety issues).

These procedures do not pre-empt, limit, or delay the right of an employee or the person managing a grievance resolution process to concurrently pursue other avenues of resolution. Neither shall these procedures pre-empt, limit, or delay the right of the employee to enter into direct negotiations with us to resolve grievances or to address matters of mutual concern.

Where appropriate a grievance process may begin at Stage 2 or 3 of these procedures - see blow under “formal grievance resolution”.  The idea behind these processes is for minor grievances to be dealt with more informally and serious or complex grievances are to be dealt with more formally.

Informal grievance resolution

It is encouraged that informal grievance resolution is attempted prior to resorting to a more structured process.  Ideally, an employee raising a grievance (complainant) should try to resolve the matter with the person the grievance exists against (respondent). Where the grievance is in relation to a process, and does not involve a respondent, the complainant should involve their immediate supervisor.

Either party to the grievance may choose to involve their supervisor or farm manager to facilitate resolution at this informal level.

Where the matter is related to conditions of work (e.g. workload), the supervisor may be the respondent, and the supervisor’s farm manager may be involved to facilitate the process. Where the supervisor is involved to facilitate resolution, the grievance may be lodged by the complainant verbally, via email to the business owner to complaints@koalafarms.com.au or in writing.  If in writing, it must be signed and dated.

Parties to the grievance should endeavour to:

•  amicably discuss the matter;

•  identify all perspectives of the issue at hand; and

•  try to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

 

A successful outcome to an informal grievance process consists of all parties having had an opportunity to present their story, consensus by all on the decisions made, and any provisions for resolution of the grievance.

If resolution is not achieved at the informal stage because:

•  the grievance is of a more complex nature;

•  the parties believe the informal process is not appropriate; or

•  the complainant feels uncomfortable about approaching the respondent, then formal grievance resolution might need to be undertaken.

Formal grievance resolution

Similar to the informal process, formal grievance resolution entails meetings and discussions between involved parties, facilitated and documented by management, to hopefully achieve grievance resolution.

Listed below are the 3 stages in the formal resolution of a grievance.

 

Stage 1 — Supervisor conciliation

In most instances a complainant should first raise the grievance with the complainant's immediate supervisor. If the grievance is about the supervisor, the complainant should raise the grievance with the farm manager and the process should escalate immediately to Stage 2.

The supervisor will determine the most appropriate process/intervention to manage a grievance. In making such determination, the nature of the grievance and the interests of all parties will be considered.

A formal grievance must be lodged in writing, containing sufficient information and details to allow the complaint to be assessed.  It must be signed and dated.

The supervisor should then discuss the matter with the parties and other relevant individuals and attempt to informally negotiate a satisfactory resolution.  The supervisor may elect to have one-on-one discussions or to arrange a meeting of the relevant parties, depending on the nature of the grievance.

The supervisor may, after obtaining our prior approval, involve HR for advice, consultation or to manage the grievance process, if deemed by us as appropriate.

Resolution may include general discussion and conciliation, or may involve action (including staff training, transferring staff, reallocating work responsibilities, or any disciplinary action we consider appropriate).

At the resolution stage of the grievance, the supervisor must ensure that all parties are advised of the outcome. This communication should, where possible, take place in person. It may be appropriate for such outcomes to also be documented in writing to all parties.

 

Stage 2 — Management level conciliation

Where a grievance cannot be resolved at Stage 1 or commences at this stage, it is to be referred to the farm manager, who should be responsible for managing the grievance to its conclusion.  Similar steps as for Stage 1 should be followed.

 

Stage 3 — HR conciliation

Where the grievance cannot be resolved at Stage 1 or 2 or a grievance is commenced at this stage, the farm manager should advise the complainant that the complaint will be referred to HR (internal or external HR adviser). The farm manager must provide HR with all relevant documentation related to the grievance and any steps that have already been taken to resolve the matter.

HR will consider a range of options to resolve the grievance and may involve external agencies, such as a qualified investigator and/or mediator, in this process. HR has responsibility for managing the grievance resolution process to its conclusion. 

Timeframes for grievance resolution

Grievances should be addressed in a timely manner, but should not be rushed.  The person with management of the grievance resolution process should advise the parties to a grievance of the anticipated timeframe.  Additional time may be required due to the complexity of a grievance, if there are multiple parties involved in a grievance or if external advice needs to be obtained.

The parties — roles and responsibilities

Complainant

In electing to lodge a grievance, a complainant accepts the responsibility to seek and support resolution of the issue(s) and to cooperate with the process.  A complainant must be prepared to provide evidence of the complainant's assertions, including specific details relating to the grievance.  A complainant must co-operate at all times in a grievance resolution process. 

A complainant may withdraw a grievance at any time. Written grievances should be withdrawn in writing and the person responsible for that stage of the resolution process should be advised. All parties to the grievance should be advised by the person managing the grievance resolution process when a grievance has been withdrawn.

The complainant should:

•  not be victimised for lodging a grievance;

•  be able to nominate the complainant's own witness(es) if there is an internal or external    investigation into the complaint;

•  have the right to seek the support and advice of a support person.

If, at any stage of the grievance resolution process, we are satisfied that a grievance is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance, we may dismiss the complaint.  A finding that a complaint has been made frivolously or vexatiously may lead to disciplinary action against the complainant, up to and including dismissal.

Respondent

A respondent should have a commitment to seek and support resolution of the issue(s) and must cooperate with the process. 

The respondent:

•  should not be victimised for being the subject of a grievance;

•  where some sense of "culpability" may be attached to the grievance, should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise;

•  should be able to nominate the respondent's own witness(es) if there is an internal or external investigation into the complaint;

•  should have the right to seek the support and advice of a support person.

Person managing grievance resolution process

A supervisor, farm manager, HR or other person managing a grievance resolution process (where appropriate) should be responsible for:

•  receiving the grievance (either written or verbal);

•  coordinating and facilitating the resolution of the grievance;

•  advising the parties of their rights, obligations and the process as outlined above;

•  communicating regularly with the parties on the process and progress of the grievance;

•  maintaining an appropriate level of documentation, which should be kept in a confidential file in secure storage;

•  notifying us immediately upon a grievance being progressed to Stage 2 or 3 or dealt with formally;

•  ensuring that the grievance resolution timeframe is appropriate in the circumstances;

•  ensuring that the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are applied to the resolution of all employee grievances. This essentially involves ensuring that each affected party has the opportunity to answer, or otherwise deal with, any matter which is raised against that party. Where concerns with regard to possible bias or conflict of interest are raised by a party to a grievance, we will consider the issues raised and endeavour to deal with it appropriately. The basis of the decision arising from consideration of the issues is to be communicated to the parties;

•  managing the grievance resolution process to its conclusion;

•  determining the most appropriate process/intervention;

•  involving external agencies in the process; and

•  keeping parties informed as to the status of the process.

Complainant and respondent

Failure to co-operate in a grievance resolution process may lead to an adverse finding against that person or disciplinary action.

Confidentiality

All parties involved in a grievance resolution process must keep matters pertaining to the process confidential.

A breach of confidentiality by an employee may result in disciplinary action.

Upon the conclusion of a grievance resolution process, we may notify our staff of the decision or any matter we determine relevant.

Employees should speak with their manager if they have any concerns regarding this policy.

 

Grievance of a serious or unlawful nature

Incidents of a serious or unlawful nature should be reported immediately to the business owner vie email at complaints@koalafarms.com.au or in writing, if in writing it must be signed and dated.

 

Discipline and termination policy

Overview

We aim to ensure employees are treated fairly and equitably, in relation to the reason for the disciplinary action, the type of disciplinary action taken and the manner in which it is carried out, when discipline and termination issues arise.

To the extent possible, we try to use disciplinary action as a means of correcting performance, conduct and behaviour of our employees.  However, where an attempt to correct performance, conduct or behaviour is unsuccessful or in the case of serious misconduct, disciplinary action is likely to be dismissal.

Application

This policy applies to all employees.

Definitions

In this policy:

Serious Misconduct includes:

•  wilful or deliberate behaviour by an employee that is inconsistent with the continuation of the contract of employment;

•  conduct that causes serious and imminent risk to:

○  health or safety of a person; or

○  the reputation, viability or profitability of our business;

•  an employee, in the course of their employment, engaging in:

○  theft;

○  fraud; or

○  assault;

•  an employee being intoxicated at work;

•  an employee refusing to carry out a lawful and reasonable instruction that is consistent with the employee’s contract of employment;

•  being guilty of a serious breach of faith;

•  committing a serious breach of an important term of your Conditions of Employment.

Misconduct includes:

• Behaviour by an employee that is inconsistent with the continuation of the contract of employment;

• conduct that causes risk to:

○ health or safety of a person; or

○ the reputation, viability or profitability of our business;

• behaviour by an employee that is unacceptable or inappropriate; or

• conduct by an employee that is unacceptable or inappropriate,

but which falls short of serious misconduct.

Underperformance or poor performance includes:

• unsatisfactory work performance;

• failing to perform duties or tasks set by us or to perform them to the standard required;

• disruptive or negative behaviour that impacts on other people; or

• unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.

Typical process – performance issues

Where it becomes necessary for a performance issue to be addressed with an employee, the typical process is likely to involve the following.  However, there may be deviations from the typical process depending on the seriousness of the performance issues, repeat offences and other considerations which we deem relevant.

Discussion (verbal warning)

Ideally, the crew leader would meet with the employee as soon as practicable after identifying an issue to discuss the matter in private.  The meeting would usually involve:

• The crew leader:

○ identifying the issue;

○ explaining why it is an issue and how it impacts on others and/or the business;

○ explaining why the crew leader has raised it as a concern;

○  explaining what is expected of the employee, what could be done by the employee to address the performance issue, the consequences of the performance not improving and setting a review period (usually not longer than 3 months) in which the employee should demonstrate improvement;

• the employee responding to the matters raised by the crew leader;

• consideration of any reasonable offers of assistance to improve; and

•  the crew leader taking a record of what was discussed and preferably getting the employee to sign that record to demonstrate it is accurate and the employee understands it.

• the verbal warning to be communicated to all other crew leaders

First written warning

Following the review period, should an employee’s performance decline, not improve or still not meet the required standard, a further meeting will be arranged.  An employee may, invite a support person to attend that meeting.  The support person may not answer for the employee, but rather be there to support the employee.  The meeting would generally involve:

• Further examination of the employee’s performance;

• a crew leader identifying our expectations, including the required standard;

• consideration of the way in which the employee is not meeting our expectations;

• the required improvement and along with the period in which the employee should demonstrate the improvement (usually not longer than 3 months); and

• any previous offers of assistance to improve.

• a farm crew leader may be required at the meeting

The employee should be given an opportunity to address the matters raised.

Promptly after the meeting, unless the employee’s explanation of the performance issue is accepted, a letter should be provided to the employee stating that it is a first written warning.  The letter should set out the concerns raised at the meeting, the employee’s response to those concerns and the consequences of the employee’s performance not improving.  A copy of the letter will be placed on the employee’s personal file.

Such a meeting and written warning may occur prior to the expiry of the review period when the employee’s performance has declined or failed to improve to the required standard since the verbal warning.

Second (final) written warning

If performance has not sufficiently improved by the expiry date of the review period, a second written warning will occur.  The same issues should be raised as with the first written warning and the employee should be given an opportunity to address the issues raised (with a representative present if the employee desires).  This may occur prior to the expiry of the agreed review period where the employee’s performance has declined or not sufficiently improved since the first written warning.

The letter that constitutes the second written warning should state that it is a final warning and that a failure to improve will lead to dismissal.  The letter should also refer to previous warnings.

Dismissal

Should there be no improvement, a decline in performance or an insufficient improvement during the final review period, we may decide to dismiss the employee or take future disciplinary action.

Typical process – alleged misconduct

Where it becomes necessary for a crew leader to address conduct issues with an employee, the typical process is likely to involve the following.  However, there may be deviations from the typical process depending on the seriousness of the misconduct, repeat offences and other considerations which we deem relevant.

Investigation

Where an employee has been involved in alleged misconduct, the crew leader should promptly conduct a proper investigation into the alleged conduct.

This is likely to involve collecting relevant information and interviewing any witnesses.

The investigation should also involve meeting with the employee concerned.  The employee should be told the details of the alleged misconduct and be given the opportunity to provide an explanation or mount a defence.

Following the investigation, the crew leader should discuss the findings with farm management or the business owner prior to initiating further disciplinary action.

Where disciplinary action is found to be necessary, the following procedures are likely to be followed.  However, in certain instances, for example, where the conduct falls well below the required standard, we may proceed directly to the final warning. 

First Warning

A warning letter should be issued which addresses some or all of the following:

• details the alleged misconduct;

• details the employment contract, policies, procedures or directions that have been breached;

• Briefly detail the investigation and its outcome;

• details the employee’s response to the allegations and the reasons why the response is not acceptable; and

• A warning that future instances will lead to further disciplinary action (including the possibility of dismissal).

A copy of the letter should be placed in the employee’s personal file.

Second (final) warning

Where further misconduct is alleged against an employee, the crew leader should promptly conduct an investigation into the incident.  Similar procedures as set out above are likely to apply.

Where misconduct is established by the investigation and the employee’s explanation is not satisfactory to management, a second warning letter should be provided to the employee.  This will contain similar matters as the first warning letter set out above, but may also:

• reference should be made to the earlier incident of misconduct; and

• state that it is a final warning and that future incidents of misconduct will lead to dismissal.

A copy of this letter should be placed on the employee’s personal file.

Dismissal

Should there be further misconduct after investigating the alleged incident, we may decide to dismiss the employee.

Typical process - serious misconduct

If an employee is alleged to have been involved in serious misconduct, the farm manager should promptly conduct an investigation into the alleged offence.  The investigation is likely to involve collecting information relevant to the alleged misconduct and interviewing any witnesses.

After an investigation has been completed, the farm manager should meet with the employee.  The employee will be given details of the alleged offence and of the investigation into the offence and will be allowed to provide an explanation or defence. 

Following the meeting, the farm manager should determine whether termination or other disciplinary action is appropriate.

An employee dismissed for serious misconduct is not entitled to notice or payment in lieu of notice and other benefits may be in jeopardy.

If termination is found to be inappropriate, the farm manager may wish to instigate the disciplinary procedures for misconduct set out above or take other disciplinary measures.

If you have been a victim of or suspect an occurrence of serious misconduct you can report it directly to the business owner via email to complaints@koalafarms.com.au or in writing, written reports need to be signed and dated.

Involvement of police

Despite any other part of this policy, we may at any stage involve the police where we think there is any suspected criminal activity.

Employees should speak with their manager if they have any concerns regarding this policy.

 

Your First Day with the Team….

Training Day

On the first day you will be learning a lot about how we do things around here. We call this the Training Day.  Our expectations of you will be high and you will be introduced to a Crew Leader who will take the time to discuss with you these expectations and the training that we will be doing with you while you are with us.

This first day gives both you and us the opportunity to make sure that the requirements of the position are suited to you.  At the end of the Training Day the Crew Leader will give you a decision regarding the continuation of employment. In a case where it is determined that your skill set is not suited to the position requirements you will not be paid for the time you have been training and no further work will be offered.  If you decide that the position is not suited to you and you choose not to return then you will forfeit any wages due to you for the training day.

Your first 3 months at Koala Farms will be considered a probation period. At the end of this period you and your Crew Leader or Farm Manager, will have a meeting to discuss your work performance and possible positions that we can offer you. It must be understood that on completion of the probation period, there is no guarantee of a work position within our business.

 

Pay

Pay week runs from Thursday to Wednesday, you will be required to Clock On and Clock off each day using our Time clock system. Your Crew Leader will approve your clock times each week.  These times are processed by administration on Thursdays for payment.  Depending on your bank will depend on the day it reaches your account. It is advisable that you keep a record of your times in case there are discrepancies.

 

Expectations

We aim to provide a workplace that is as safe and as enjoyable as possible.  The competitive nature of our industry demands that we produce high quality products at the lowest price possible.  This standard can only be achieved through high quality work and the good work ethic of each employee.

We try to promote a business with high standards and we expect you to adopt the following standards:

• Honesty and Integrity

• Working as a Team

• Where we value Difference and Diversity

• Encouraging each individuals contributions

• Safe workplace practices, risk management

• Open communication and negotiation to focus on achieving the best results

• Working towards improvement through innovation

• Working together to meet all customer expectations, both internal and external

• Working towards organisational goal, policies and procedures

• A diverse working environment

• Trying to meet the needs of employees work/life balance

 

What we expect from you

Included in this Induction is the Employee Capability Framework which outlines our expectations of you.  This document clearly outlines the behaviours required by you.  If you have any questions about this document please ask your Crew Leader.

In addition to this document the following outlines must be adhered to:

You must:

• treat all people and property at work with respect.  Note that due to quality assurance policies, security cameras are placed throughout the property;

• arrive at a designated workplace and be ready to commence work at the designated time;

• be honest at all times;

• Not display any form of violence (physical or verbal);

• not break the law;

• arrive at work in a fit state, well rested and free from the influence of alcohol or drugs

• if requiring time off work, give 2 days notice to your Crew Leader;

• if you are sick, contact your Crew Leader and Administration as soon as possible;

• if your absence is for two or more consecutive days you are required to produce a medical certificate

• ensure you don’t endanger yourself or other people at work;

• if encountering any problems or issues with any of the crew or any aspect of your job, speak first with your Crew Leader;

•  if you encounter any problems with your Crew Leader, contact the business owner directly via email to complaints@koalafarms.com.au or in writing, written communications must be signed and dated.

 

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